My current Portfolio, let me know what you think!

Just finished up the copy, marking the completion of the current update of my portfolio.

Please have a look, let me know what you think. Thank you for your time!

My coroflot is

Carl_ I think your coroflot has better work than your portfolio. The portfolio is solid good, but it is not leaving me with anything impactful or memorable. Everything feels safe. You have the core skills, but put them together to make something that emits wonder.

Hey Carl-

I agree with Yo- you totally have the ID skills, but your pdf use doesn’t convey them in a meaningful way.

A term that I’ve come up with when critting other portfolios (we do this every quarter…) is that it looks “power pointy”. What I mean by that is that it looks like it was created to be an office powerpoint presentation using few graphic design elements outside of the rounded box, circle, and so forth. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but it shows that your graphic design vocabulary is very limited (you did study industrial design after all!). The best way to build your “vocabulary” would be to start copying some of the coolest graphic design elements out there right now- play around with pinstripes and text on a page- try using transparencies- check out some modern graphic design blogs (I find this helps a ton… and there are sooooo many out there check out yummy fresh grain, the dieline, information is beautiful, gridness, information aesthetics, swiss legacy… i could go on and on but those should be a good leaping point. ) and apply what you see there to little graphic studies in indesign (illustrator works too… I’d avoid doing this in photoshop) until you create something you like.

Anyways, that’s my main overall crit- here are some tips from looking over what you’ve got so far:

  1. (and I think if you decide to keep your current layout this will help the most) get rid of anything that acts as a box. That means, when you contain words, sketches and images in black borders, get rid of those borders. Your concept maps will look so much more “designy” if they are simply words connected with lines. The circles make it look like an office document rather than a design portfolio (in other words, create more white space)

  2. Get rid of those borders on all the pages- they are simply confusing and distract from the work on the page. I think you’ll notice that, in a lot of the blogs I listed, the main idea of the design should be to convey the content on the page in a beautiful way, not the page.

  3. Have a standard resume page- your first page talks about an internship and looks like a project introduction. I can’t tell if the following pages describe what you did at that internship or are describing skills you use. Either way, I don’t think you should ascribe so much importance to each of those attributes- listing the internship under “experience” with a quick blurb about what you did, and your skills under another section with a little blurb about what they are would be far more effective than what you’ve done. My professor gave a demo of how people will look through a portfolio: He opened up a pdf and clicked the right arrow key once every second- If you don’t capture interest in those first few pages, chances are it’s not going to happen later on down the road. Starting with three flow charts isn’t quite the best attention grabber.

  4. You need a better way to start out projects- check out some info graphic websites on how to better convey the ideas of your flowcharts. Instead of info graphics, many students will simply use a full bleed image of the problem with text for a problem statement on top. For example, if I was designing a fire extinguisher for home use, I could start off with a full bleed picture of a house burning down at night, with “why don’t we use fire extinguishers?” written in white text on the top left. The next page could then show off a flow chart- however if you are going this route, it might make sense to write down a lot of the ideas on the chart into post its, stick them on a wall in some orderly fashion and snap a picture- this always looks very designerly, especially when overlaid with the text “addressing the issues” and a paragraph talking about your design thinking process.

Finally, (and I’ll stop here for now… my fingers are getting tired and I hope you’re not too annoyed with me…) you need glory shots, on their own page. It’s hard for me to tell the difference between what is process work and what is the final result. This actually highlights another issue- your projects are way too crammed! don’t be afraid to go long- as long as you’re telling the story of how your final design came into being. For the computer project- have one page on design thinking, one page on round one sketching, another with three final sketches, another with foam models, another with photoshop renderings, and finally the glory shot (which always looks best full bleed in the environment it was meant to be used in). If you do that for every project, I feel they will make more sense, as well as help the “one click per second” way of looking through a portfolio, as the viewer will know instinctively what each page represents… Hope this makes sense- I think you have a good try here, but it needs to be heavily refined. Your sketching and design work is really great but it has a hard time shining though in the pdf you posted. Good luck and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!!

Also, don’t feel like you have to do everything I listed… these are just my opinions and other people might think the exact opposite way on everything hahaha if you have any questions i’ll try and remember to look for them to respond… I kind of forget to look at core every other week or so…

Thank you guys very much. Challenge accepted!

I am now going to do a bit of research to find a style/combination.

Designy- I think I can do that. (:

There’s very little story. If you remember writing classes in middle school (not sure if you learned the hamburger method of intro, body, conclusion), you need to have that structure in your portfolio. Hook me in in the first few pages or I won’t keep going. But it can’t just be a random hook (my teacher gave an example “Ms. Anderson is a hooker.” that a student used as a ‘hook’), it has to relate to the story you’re going to tell.

Starting off with the right hook is very powerful, such as Ineo’s fire extinguisher example. It addresses the why? Why should I care about this project? How does it impact me/users? Tell me the who, the what, and most importantly, the how (your process, which defines you as a designer). End with a strong, moving conclusion about why your design matters with a nice, juicy visual that I will remember.

I think your slides are really uninteresting. I wouldn’t strive for “designy”. In my book, that’s a negative phrase. I will say that content is king, and no matter how you design it, your presentation should never distract from the story. My approach is fairly minimal, with large pictures calling out important parts, and text to explain when necessary.

The gents above are right, you’ve the skills there you just need to give it all more impact. As the guys say lead with something that has me hooked and wanting to find out the why’s and how’s after that first image has got me glued. Your sketches on your coroflot are really good, especially your sander.

From a website technical point of view, I’d lose the ISSUU flicking book, it’s small and unclear. Just stick with a good ol’ fashioned clear website.

Sounds good, thank you all very much for the feedback.